Quote of the week: “loopy stuff within the Arctic”

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The overly excitable director of that Nationwide Snow and Ice Information Middle (NSIDC) is at it once more. Beforehand, we’ve heard him declare “demise spiral” and “the Arctic is screaming” to convey his alarmed viewpoint on Arctic Sea Ice. Now, he’s acquired a brand new one, courtesy of Seth Borenstein at The Related Press:

“It’s simply loopy, loopy stuff,” stated Mark Serreze, director of the Nationwide Snow and Ice Information Middle in Boulder, Colorado, who has been learning the Arctic since 1982. “These warmth waves, I’ve by no means seen something like this.”

Properly in fact you haven’t seen something prefer it earlier than. We solely have a brief length file of Arctic Sea Ice/Arctic climate, and Mr. Serreze in all probability isn’t a fan of historic anecdotes, like what occurred properly earlier than he was born, corresponding to this report from 1922:

The Arctic ocean is warming up, icebergs are rising scarcer and in some locations the seals are discovering the water too sizzling, in accordance with a report back to the Commerce Division yesterday from Consul Ifft, at Bergen, Norway.

Stories from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers, he declared, all level to a radical change in local weather circumstances and hitherto unheard-of temperatures within the Arctic zone. Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met with as far north as 81 levels 29 minutes. Soundings to a depth of three,100 meters confirmed the gulf stream nonetheless very heat.

Nice plenty of ice have been changed by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, whereas at many factors well-known glaciers have solely disappeared. Only a few seals and no white fish are discovered within the japanese Arctic, whereas huge shoals of herring and smelts, which have by no means earlier than ventured to this point north, are being encountered within the outdated seal fishing grounds.

Hmmm, properly “loopy stuff” or not, in accordance with the NSIDC Sea Ice Report on March sixth, the identical day as “loopy stuff” was uttered, we see that the Arctic sea ice continues to be there. The headline was apparently written by one of many calmer staff at NSIDC:

A heat method to the equinox

Determine 1. Arctic sea ice extent for February 2018 was 13.95 million sq. kilometers (5.39 million sq. miles). The magenta line reveals the 1981 to 2010 common extent for that month.Credit score: Nationwide Snow and Ice Information Middle

As temperatures on the North Pole approached the melting level on the finish of February, Arctic sea ice extent tracked at file low ranges for this time of 12 months. Extent was low on each the Atlantic and Pacific sides of the Arctic, with open water areas increasing quickly within the Bering Sea through the latter half of the month. On the opposite aspect of the globe, Antarctic sea ice has reached its minimal extent for the 12 months, the second lowest within the satellite tv for pc file.

Winter continues to be delicate over the Arctic Ocean. Sea ice extent remained at file low each day ranges for the month. Arctic sea ice extent for February 2018 averaged 13.95 million sq. kilometers (5.39 million sq. miles). That is the bottom month-to-month common  recorded for February, 1.35 million sq. kilometers (521,000 sq. miles) beneath the 1981 to 2010 common and 160,000 sq. kilometers (62,000) beneath the earlier file low month-to-month common in 2017.

Determine 2a. The graph above reveals Arctic sea ice extent as of March 4, 2018, together with each day ice extent information for 4 earlier years. 2017 to 2018 is proven in blue, 2016 to 2017 in inexperienced, 2015 to 2016 in orange, 2014 to 2015 in brown, 2013 to 2014 in purple, and 2011 to 2012 in dotted brown. The 1981 to 2010 median is in darkish grey. The grey areas across the median line present the interquartile and interdecile ranges of the information. Credit score: Nationwide Snow and Ice Information Middle

Extent was particularly low within the Bering Sea the place sea ice declined through the first three weeks of the month. The japanese a part of the Bering Sea was largely ice-free for a lot of the month; extent was low on the western aspect, with the ice edge additional north than regular. Within the Chukchi Sea, extent additionally retreated throughout a part of February, with open water creating north of the Bering Strait on each the Siberian and Alaskan coasts. As seen all winter, ice extent continued to be beneath common within the Barents Sea, and on the finish of February, a wedge of open water fashioned north of Svalbard that prolonged properly into the Arctic Ocean.

Low stress centered simply east of the Kamchatka Peninsula and excessive stress centered over Alaska and the Yukon throughout February arrange southerly winds that introduced heat air and heat ocean waters into the Pacific aspect of the Arctic Ocean, impeding southward ice development. This helps to clarify the speedy lack of ice extent within the Bering Sea and the ice-free areas throughout the Chukchi Sea through the month. The nice and cozy air intrusion is obvious within the 925 mb air temperatures, with month-to-month temperatures 10 to 12 levels Celsius (18 to 22 levels Fahrenheit) above common within the Chukchi and Bering Sea.

On the Atlantic aspect, low stress off the southeast coast of Greenland and excessive stress over northern Eurasia helped to funnel heat winds into the area and should have additionally enhanced the northward transport of oceanic warmth. On the finish of the month, this atmospheric circulation sample was significantly sturdy, related to a outstanding influx of heat air from the south, elevating the temperatures close to the North Pole to above freezing, round 20 to 30 levels Celsius (36 to 54 levels Fahrenheit) above common. Air temperatures at Cape Morris Jesup in northern Greenland (83°37’N, 33°22’W) exceeded zero levels Celsius for a number of hours and open water fashioned to the north of Greenland on the finish of the month. That is the third winter in a row by which excessive warmth waves have been recorded over the Arctic Ocean. A research printed final 12 months by Robert Graham from the Norwegian Polar Institute confirmed that latest heat winters symbolize a development in the direction of elevated length and depth of winter warming occasions throughout the central Arctic. Whereas the Arctic has been comparatively heat for this time of 12 months, northern Europe was hit by excessive chilly circumstances on the finish of February.

Full report with further graphs right here: https://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/2018/03/a-warm-approach-to-the-equinox/

I suppose I simply can’t get too labored up about Serreze and his “loopy stuff” opinion, particularly when the official NSIDC report is way more sedate.

As I’ve stated earlier than, given his personal irresponsible pronouncements to the press, Mr. Serreze in all probability isn’t the most effective spokesman for NSIDC.





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